Religious, spiritual statements during ICU goals-of-care discussions important

the ONA take:

Among a cohort of surrogate decision makers who view religion or spirituality as an important consideration near the end of life of the patient, discussion of religious or spiritual considerations occurred in fewer than 20% of goals-of-care conferences in intensive care units, according to a new study published online ahead of print in JAMA Internal Medicine.

For the study, researchers at the Clinical Research, Investigation, and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness (CRISMA) Center at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pittsburgh, PA, sought to determine how often healthcare professionals and surrogate decision makers discuss religious or spiritual considerations during family meetings.

Researchers analyzed data from 249 goals-of-care conversations conducted between 651 surrogate decision makers and 441 health care professionals in institutions across the United States. Results showed that only 16.1% of the 249 conversations included discussion of religious or spiritual considerations.

Researchers found that in 15 conversations, health care professionals redirected religious or spiritual conversations to medical considerations, and in only 8 conversations did health care professionals ask further questions regarding the patient or family's beliefs.

Religious, spiritual statements during ICU goals-of-care discussions important
Discussion of religious or spiritual considerations occurred in fewer than 20% of goals-of-care conferences in intensive care units.
Although many patients and their families view religion or spirituality as an important consideration near the end of life, little is known about the extent to which religious or spiritual considerations arise during goals-of-care conversations in the intensive care unit.
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